I-3-1-14.Requests for Extension of Time to Submit Evidence or Arguments

Last Update: 8/4/15 (Transmittal I-3-123)

A. General

A claimant or an appointed representative may request an extension of time (EOT) to submit additional evidence or arguments to the Appeals Council (AC) in support of a request for review. The AC will accept an EOT request for this purpose either in writing or by telephone. When received by telephone, Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) staff will document the request on a form SSA-5002, Report of Contact, and associate the form with the claim(s) file.

NOTE 1:

EOT requests are distinct from a statement informing the AC about additional evidence, but may be submitted in conjunction with such a statement. For specific processing instructions when a claimant informs OAO about additional evidence that relates to the period on or before the date of the ALJ decision, see HALLEX I-3-2-15. As explained in that section, OAO will first request that the claimant submit the evidence. In adhering to that procedure, OAO staff will request the evidence from the claimant when responding to the EOT request using a modified version of the Document Generation System COR 10 template.

For an initial EOT request, the AC generally provides the claimant or appointed representative 25 days from the date of the notice granting the EOT. However, if the claimant or appointed representative asks for more than 25 days in the initial EOT request or submits a second EOT request after the 25 days has expired, the AC will consider whether the claimant (or appointed representative on the claimant's behalf) provided good cause for requesting a second EOT or a longer than usual timeframe to submit additional evidence or arguments. In evaluating whether there is good cause, the AC will use the standards in 20 CFR 404.911, 405.20, and 416.1411. If the claimant or appointed representative does not provide good cause for requesting a subsequent or extended EOT, the AC will deny the request.

NOTE 2:

Even when the AC denies an initial EOT request for more than 25 days, the AC will provide 25 days to submit additional evidence or arguments.

NOTE 3:

If the EOT request is for the purpose of filing a civil action, these instructions do not apply. Rather, the AC uses the instructions in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-3-9-92. For EOTs for filing a request for review, see HALLEX I-3-1-1.

B. Procedures for Processing EOT Request

1. Initial EOT Request

When the AC receives an initial EOT request, OAO staff will enter the request into the claim(s) file and the Appeals Review Processing System (ARPS), and will create an ARPS diary to track the EOT request. OAO staff will use the appropriate Document Generation System (DGS) template, determined by the facts of the case, to prepare a letter informing the claimant and appointed representative (if any) that the AC will defer its action for 25 days to allow the claimant or appointed representative to submit additional evidence or arguments.

NOTE:

The AC will provide 25 days for submission of additional evidence or argument even when the claim has been pending before the AC for an extended time and OAO staff does not discover the EOT request until after the time period covered in the request has expired.

If the claimant or appointed representative specifically asks for an EOT for more than 25 days, the AC must review the request to determine whether there is good cause for the extended EOT before the diary is established. The AC adjudicator will add a Remark in ARPS noting whether good cause exists to extend the EOT beyond 25 days. OAO staff will modify the appropriate DGS template as necessary, specifically noting in the letter whether the extended EOT was granted or denied.

Designated OAO staff (such as a technical assistant or supervisory legal assistant) or an OAO branch chief will sign any initial EOT notice, even those where the AC finds good cause to extend an EOT beyond 25 days (when an ARPS Remark documents a finding of good cause by an AC adjudicator). When OAO receives the additional evidence or argument, or the diary expires, whichever is earlier, OAO staff will continue processing the request for review.

However, if the AC determines there is no good cause to extend an EOT beyond 25 days, the AC adjudicator will sign the notice. This is a one-signature action notice. OAO staff will then continue processing the request for review.

2. Subsequent EOT Request

For any subsequent EOT request, the AC will review the request to determine whether there is good cause for providing another EOT. After review, the AC will add a Remark in ARPS noting whether good cause is present.

If the AC determines good cause is present (annotated in a Remark in ARPS), OAO staff or an OAO branch chief will complete, sign, and send the COR 22 DGS template letter, granting the EOT request and providing an additional 30 days to submit additional evidence or argument. OAO staff will also add a diary in ARPS to track the request. When OAO receives the additional evidence or argument, or the diary expires, whichever is earlier, OAO staff will continue processing the request for review.

If the AC finds there is no good cause to provide another EOT, the AC adjudicator will sign the notice. This is a one-signature action notice. OAO staff will then continue processing the request for review.